Christine Forgey 96, a policy specialist in the Office of the Provost/Dean of the College, made history this week when she was elected the first mayor of the town of Greenfield, her hometown and the county seat for Franklin County.
Forgey received 3,506 votes in Tuesday's election, surpassing and surprising her front-running opponent, Greenfield attorney Edward F. Berlin, by 1,000 votes. She will serve a 3-year term.
Forgey earned her Smith degree in history as an Ada Comstock Scholar. After serving for 7 years in three different staff positions at Smith, she will resign from her present job to assume her mayoral seat and will continue working on campus for two more weeks. She will begin her new job on July 1.
Before Tuesday's historical vote, Greenfield's 18,000 people had been represented by a 27-member Town Council in legislating city business. Prior to that system, Greenfield had operated with a 248-member town meeting. The city last year passed a charter to modify its Town Council to 13 members and to elect a mayor to replace the town manager and selectmen.
Forgey was the only woman to have survived a crowded primary contest for the mayoral campaign in which several candidates fell from the race. All 13 Town Council members are men.
Among the early issues on her schedule as mayor will be attempting to attract a discount retailer to Greenfield to replace the closed Ames department store; encouraging local businesses to support school programs; and mending the wide rift in the town between groups with differing ideas and opinions about the best ways for future development.
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